Pensioners need help with finances, says Age Concern

Millions of pensioners live on less cash than they should because they pay too much tax or miss out on benefits, a leading charity has claimed.

Age Concern issued its warning came on the launch of its Concern Week which has been designed to help older people make the most of their money. More than 150 Age Concerns around the country will run special events – between September 27 and October 4 - to give free information and advice about a range of issues including pensions and benefits.

And with the launch of the Pension Credit this week it’s more crucial than ever for older people to claim their slice of the cash, Age Concern has said.

It is not just the poorest pensioners who can boost their incomes during Age Concern Week. Older people can also learn how to pay less tax or make the most of their savings.

The Department for Works and Pensions' 'Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2000/01', released on 27 March 2003, showed that up to 670,000 older people miss out on the Minimum Income Guarantee, leaving up to £820 million unclaimed every year.

Gordon Lishman, Director-General of Age Concern England, said: “Millions of pensioners could boost their incomes by claiming benefits or by paying less tax. During Age Concern Week we will be giving out clear, easy-to-understand information to help people maximise their money.

“It’s particularly important that people get clued up now about their finances because the government is about to launch a new benefit which half of pensioners will be entitled to. The money could make a positive difference to many of the poorest older people and it’s important that they don’t miss out.”

Thousands of ‘Money Made Easy’ guides will be given to older people during Age Concern Week. The new guide has been written by Paul Lewis, Radio 4’s Money Box presenter and draws together a wealth of information about pensions, benefits, taxes and savings.

Age Concern will also be operating its free information line 0800 00 99 66, where callers can receive the free guide or request income-related factsheets.


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